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We talked to Sabina Kosuri, Education Counselor at IDP Dubai, about the English language requirements for studying at a university in the UK.
Sabina, I’ve heard there are some new rules for students who are going to study in the UK? Is that true? How will those changes affect me?
Tier 4 UK student visa rules have not changed, but the UK government has announced important changes to Secure English Language Testing (SELT) requirements for visa applications for UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI). As a result of these changes, students are advised to check with the institution that they are applying to for their English language entry requirements. Alternatively, your IDP Counselor can check this on your behalf.
What is the IELTS FOR UKVI test exactly?
Actually, there’s no difference at all between the IELTS FOR UKVI test and the regular IELTS. It’s exactly the same test with the difference that IELTS FOR UKVI can only be taken at authorized test centers and the center must follow certain additional administrative procedures specified by the UK government.
So how do I register for IELTS FOR UKVI and how do I find an authorized test center?
You can only register online for IELTS FOR UKVI. Visit www.idpielts.me and it will ask you what you are taking the test for - to make sure that you register for the right test. It will also ensure that you register to take IELTS FOR UKVI at an authorized test center.
My friend said there’s a new English language test called IELTS Life Skills, which costs less than IELTS FOR UKVI. Can I take IELTS Life Skills to study at a university in the UK instead of IELTS FOR UKVI?
No, IELTS Life Skills is for a completely different visa category. It’s for people who need to prove their Speaking and Listening Skills for a “family of a settled person” visa, indefinite leave to remain, or for UK citizenship.
When should I register for IELTS FOR UKVI?
You should register for the test as soon as you are ready. Most of IEPS IELTS test centres offer IELTS FOR UKVI every 14 days and you will receive your results 13 days after the test. You also need to be mindful of the visa processing time and your university start date. Generally, we advise taking your IELTS test at least 6 weeks before your course start date. Of course, for those of you planning to begin your university studies in 2016, you do have plenty of time to prepare and take the IELTS test. An IELTS test report form is valid for 2 years, so you may want to take your test early so that you can focus on other elements of admission.
In the next issue, we will talk to the IDP IELTS Test Center Administrator in Dubai to learn more about the registration process for IELTS FOR UKVI.